Thursday, November 05, 2009

AT&T Sues Verizon Over False Claims About Coverage In Commercial

I would have loved to title this, "There's A Lawsuit For That" or "Can You Sue Us Now?" ... alas those headlines are not only taken - but it seems every Apple, cellphone, and major news outlet has already overused them.

I knew the commercial was making false claims just from my own state's depiction (South Carolina). The disclaimer at the bottom was also too small to read. You needed a movie screen and then a magnifying glass to see it.

[removed inaccurate map]

According to AT&T's brochures - 3G coverage is much better here. Verizon's maps also don't account for recent activations - in fact - it appears as if the maps Verizon used are 1.5 years old. Since the launch of the iPhone (and most likely BECAUSE of it) AT&T has made huge improvements to their network. I just got 3G in my small town last week - and I've noticed nearly full coverage within a 40 mile radius of my home. Verizon's map indicates nearly zero coverage anywhere near where I live.

Verizon should learn that stating fact within a commercial may not be fact by the time its audience see it and its advertising department (coincidentally located nearby me) should have known the net would call them out on the claims.

[UPDATE] I've found two reasons Verizon's map is different:

1) Because of the breakup of AT&T (landline) and then recombination / merger of AT&T (landline AND wireless) many towers across the country went from AT&T ownership to third party lease. Verizon's map does not include any third party lease towers.

2) In certain areas, such as my own, AT&T wireless operated under third party companies or MVNO's (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) such as Suncom Wireless. Suncom was purchased by T-Mobile in 2008. In MOST places in the country TMobile is on a separate band for the 3G wireless coverage - but in the south - they operate on the same band. AT&T & T-Mobile actually share a sort of data roaming agreement. Certain towers in my area (and I'm sure others) are "special towers" used to dole out signal (voice and data) to T-Mobile (former Suncom Wireless customers) and to AT&T (former Cingular customers).

Neither of these facts are taken into account with Verizon's "there's a map for that" maps.

Combined with the fact that Verizon used older 2008 maps where they DID have more coverage - this is the reason there's such a huge discrepancy.

Verizon is trying to "trick" all those iPhone customers that have complained about AT&T's poor signal. While I have had my share of problems with AT&T and had my share of signal issues - it HAS gotten better over the last year. Better than Verizon would have you believe.


I am a lover of children's literature said...

It all smacks of desperation on the part of Verizon, that I have no doubts.

Philip Smith said...

The Verizon map is no where NEAR accurate

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Philip Smith said...

The map I'm showing is for GSM coverage which DOES cover EDGE, but the Verizon map for AT&T is from 2007.

I know for a fact that more of the upstate of South Carolina is covered by 3G, I also know that more of North Carolina and Georgia are covered.

Take into account that data roaming is also in play / AT&T's map shows only AT&T coverage not partner or 3rd party lease towers - Verizon's map shows ALL of it's coverage even those on the Sprint and 3rd party lease.

Philip Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Philip Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Philip Smith said...

Nothing censored ... Just a guy who was getting on my nerves because he was acting like a know it all.

The Everythingist said...

I love this. Stirring the pot!

John said...

Nothing censored??? Isn't omitting something based on your belief that this person was "annoying" censorship? Not that I'm saying he had anything good to say, just that opinions are abundant, annoying or not.

fixyourthinking said...

But my opinion is what counts on MY SITE.


I don't allow name calling and irresponsible nonfactual information posted here. It has been my policy since I started this in 2001.

Forum after forum is filled with off topic rants that delve into misinformation.

If the commenter had identified himself I'd probably have left it - but Anonymous comments that are vitriolic get no love from me.